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Feng Xiaogang's new film Youth to be released
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After a two-month halt from its previously scheduled release date of Sept 29, the 136-minute feature will simultaneously open in China and North America on Dec 15.

For the 59-year-old director, whose name has become synonymous with the lucrative Chinese New Year blockbusters thanks to a string of hits since 1997's The Dream FactoryYouth is somewhat of a radical departure.

Except for actor Huang Xuan, who rose to prominence for the 2014 TV series Red Sorghum, the remainder of the cast is made up of mostly lesser-known performers.

Domestic reports say Feng selected the six young actresses, including Zhong Chuxi, Miao Miao and Yang Caiyu, from around 1,000 aspirants, placing harsh demands on their appearance and dancing talent.

From harboring a restrained crush, to secretly longing for pop culture, to the unprecedented transformation brought about by China's reform and opening-up, the tale is likely to strike a chord with most Chinese people born in the 1950s and '60s.

To recreate this history, director Feng spent 35 million yuan ($5.3 million) building film sets at a studio in South China's Hainan province to bring to life all the typical facilities that a military art troupe had access to in the 1970s. The movie sets brought various buildings back to life, from a canteen and dormitories to a training room.

Feng even required the cast members to train dance and live together in the complex for five months before the principal photography began, to help the actors immerse themselves in this fictional world.

"Cinema should allow different genres to coexist and give audiences many options. But films like Youth seem to have almost disappeared from Chinese screens. I believe Chinese people need such a movie and I hope they will enjoy it," says Feng.

Recent test screenings of the movie gained a rating of 7.8 of 10 on the popular film review site Douban.

 
Sponsored by: General Office and Foreign Affairs Office of Changzhou Municipal People’s Government
All rights reserved.Jiangsu ICP Record No. 05003616
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